The Chicago Bears are carving out quite a reputation for themselves as a team that can move the ball in an unconventional way in this day and age. Simply put, they run at and around you and do it with multiple people. So from that perspective, Matt Eberflus, the first-year coach formerly on the Indianapolis Colts staff, has taken a step forward.
But as BetOnline customers may have noticed, this team lacks in other areas. And that’s why they come into Sunday’s game with the Atlanta Falcons with a 3-7 record (4-5-1 against the spread). That puts them five games behind the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North.
The Atlanta Falcons are a run-first offense as well. And this has been somewhat out of necessity, as Matt Ryan was sent off to the Colts in the off-season, and rookie Desmond Ridder is still waiting in the wings. But head coach Arthur Smith, who was the offensive coordinator with the Titans and oversaw a pretty good rushing attack behind Derrick Henry, has improvised pretty well.
As a result, the Falcons are 4-6 straight-up, which is actually better than expected (also 6-4 against the number), and they are in contention in the weak NFC South.
These teams will meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta at 1 PM ET on Sunday.
In the NFL odds that have been posted at BetOnline on this game, the Falcons are the favorites at home:-
Atlanta Falcons -2.5 (-113)
Chicago Bears +2.5 (-107)
Over 49 Points (-108)
Under 49 Points (-112)
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One thing you can almost guarantee yourself is that the Bears are going to run the football with some degree of success. They lead the NFL in rushing with an absurd 201.7 yards per game, and the next team on the list, the Baltimore Ravens, are 33 yards per game behind them. And if you compare what they’ve done to last year’s leader, the Philadelphia Eagles, they averaged almost 46 yards per game more than those guys.
So it’s the birth of something in the Windy City. And Justin Fields is on his way to becoming a kind of folk hero with 325 yards on the ground in the last two weeks (749 for the season, with a 7.2-yard average). With David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert in the backfield, they also have someone fresh to run at the opposition.
But the Bears are also the only team in the history of the NFL to score 29 or more points in three straight games and lose all three. So what does that tell you? Well, for one thing, it tells you that all those games went over the total.
You are talking about a team here that can’t defend. They have allowed 50% success on third down, and only two teams have been worse in that regard. No, Atlanta isn’t one of them. But the Falcons are close (46.6%). And when it comes to total defense, they are 31st in the NFL. These clubs are also in the upper half of the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage. And hey, the Falcons also run it with great success (fourth in the league). So while you think they’ll kill the clock, we think they’ll move the chains with impunity.
So we’re looking OVER the posted total of 49 points.
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